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Garland, Ukraine's Kostin Agree on War Crime Prosecution Effort

Attorney General Merrick Garland and his Ukrainian counterpart, Andriy Kostin, signed an agreement Tuesday aimed at formalizing cooperation over joint efforts to prosecute alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The two men signed the memo after meeting at Justice Department headquarters, a show of partnership to step up international pressure amid evidence of new mass atrocities discovered after Ukrainian forces took back wide swaths of territory, says the Washington Post. Ukrainian authorities are investigating a mass burial site with more than 400 bodies found in Izyum, where Russian forces terrorized residents during a six-month occupation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said a previous massacre of civilians in Bucha amounted to “genocide.”


Garland said the agreement would build on work of a war crimes accountability team he announced in June after visiting Ukraine and meeting with authorities. That team, led by Eli Rosenbaum, a 36-year veteran of the Justice Department, is charged with providing assistance to Ukrainian officials, including help on evidence collection and forensic analysis. “America and the world has seen the horrific images and heart-wrenching reports of brutality and death caused by the unjust Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Garland said. Kostin said Ukrainian authorities had documented 34,000 war crimes. Kostin said he had received word, just two hours before meeting with Garland, of newly discovered atrocities in Kharkiv, where another grave with 100 bodies was found.

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